Sophia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette and the Traces of History
This cardboard probes in the absolute contest included in the Sophia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette. At the offset, the cine presented the contest that accept transpired in French history with alpha eyes. The aftereffect is both absorbing and engaging. It is absorbing in the faculty that the anatomy (which is film) through which history was rendered provided brawl to the viewers. At the aforementioned time, the cine is agreeable as it was able to abduction the absolute contest that, to me, challenged the admirers to assay history deeper. In this paper, I will highlight the absolute allusions in the cine that accompany in the aftermost instance with the absolute contest that occurred in France added than two centuries ago.
I will appearance that, amid others, the blur articulate the absurd activity of Marie Antoinette, the French Revolution, the “human” ancillary of the queen, and the aeon of Enlightenment. The fifth aspect that I will focus on is what the blur accidentally appear in its absolute attack to burrow – that is the actuality that Marie Antoinette and Baron Louis XVI are not innocent victims. I will altercate that the aerial conflation of blur and history accepted a success (and failure) in the case of Marie Antoinette. .
Music as Amusing Critique
Of all its features, “Marie Antoinette” was an absorbing accurate acquaintance because of the music. It is through music that the blur was able to back a absolute annual of Marie Antoinette’s life. It is already commonplace that Marie Antoinette lived a activity of luxury, and the blur showed this from the alpha until the end. According to absolute records, Marie Antoinette’s affairs was too absurd that the accepted association suffered (see Fraser 2001). This affluence of French ability was showcased in the blur with the advice of music.
It was a joy to watch French ability in their busy apparel antic with their consorts and ladies-in-waiting to the complete of 80s post-punk. Conceivably to arm-twist the acrid joie de vivre of the 80s abutting to the dionysian affairs (as adjoin to hedonism) of the French baron and queen and her court, they danced to an adjustment of Siouxsie and the Banshee’s “Hong Kong Garden” which was played by a cord ensemble. The song again segued into the aboriginal post-punk adaptation blame a academy affiliated of joy and spontaneity for everyone.
In one scene, The Cure’s “Plainsong” was played during the couple’s accession - an important and all-encompassing attack taken on the accomplish of the Versailles. I’ve consistently anticipation that the music of The Cure was accurate but the bandage evoked visions of avant-garde dystopia for me- of highways, electric poles and sad deserted factories; instead of men cutting wigs and tights and women with apparent bosoms beneath airy parasols during the aftermost gasps of European feudalism. The deserted but quintessential New Adjustment song, “Ceremony” is played in addition affair amphitheatre to actualize a adverse to the carousal of the French aristocratic upperclass. Jarring as these may accept been, these able $.25 of agreeable scoring not alone comprise the best affair about the blur but additionally serve as its brainy heart.
Of course, the boilerplate adviser is not accepted to admit abounding of these songs. In fact, in best parts, what one hears are aloof active excerpts from some abstruse clue of a accurate agreeable brand from the 90s labeled as “shoegaze” music. While this cultural referencing from the aboriginal 90s in blur is abnormal (only Araki has done this to abundant success in “The Doom Generation” which was fabricated during the aboriginal 90s), it is additionally apt back these attempts highlight all the added the accurate ancestry of the anachronous but constant genre.
The addition of Kevin Shields (who additionally did assignment for Absent in Translation) from the allegorical shoegaze bandage My Bloody Valentine as able-bodied as the accomplished selections from accepted Swedish bandage The Radio Dept. adjure to the “hip” and “cred” bendability in Sofia Coppola’s assignment as able-bodied as advertence her acknowledgment for the absent agreeable genre. Remember that in her aboriginal alarmingly acclaimed oeuvre, “The Virgin Suicides,” she additionally featured in the soundtrack the French duo with aerial “cred” credibility – Air. However, this time around, I accept that the able use of abreast music serves a purpose above accomplishing the “coolness factor” that the administrator is accepted for. It foregrounds an absorbing but arguable booty on a cardinal moment in the history of western society.
History in/through Cinema
Not alone did the blur finer appearance the barmy actuality of Marie Antoinette and the French Absolution but additionally the address by which this actuality was put to an end by the French people. The French Anarchy was alone apparent at the aftermost scenes of the blur yet it serves a almighty admonition of how the afflicted classes of French association stood up and fought. If alone for this, the blur briefly yet finer captured the absolute change that transpired during the French Anarchy of 1793.
It charge be acclaimed admitting that the afterlife of Marie Antoinette and alternative French royalties absolutely sparked hope, about abrupt a moment. I say this back the French absolution was anon afterwards replaced by the aphorism of the accepted (see Doyle 2001). This alteration was no best included in the blur yet the actuality charcoal that the basic force of the French Anarchy served as a acute cessation in the activity of Marie Antoinette.
Marie Antoinette and the Louis-Auguste were the Baron and Queen of France at the access of the celebrated French Revolution. This blow apparent the political acme of the aberrant amusing and bread-and-butter changes that began with the Renaissance and the Enlightenment. It represented the achievement of an arising bread-and-butter adjustment whose political anatomy was represented by the French Republicans. At the prodding of the accepted liberals who pushed for the republican ethics of the appropriate to commercialism and autonomous leadership, the peasants stormed the Bastille and afterwards the aristocratic alcazar of Versailles finer heralding the annihilation of the French monarchy.
The defeat of the royalists as embodied in the agitated deaths of Queen Marie Antoinette and Baron Louis XVI by the decollate and the consecutive acceleration of the French Republic meant new political and amusing arrange that to some represent the defining about-face from the “Dark Ages” to the Avant-garde Era. One of this epoch’s key appearance is the advantage of the acceptance that, finally, man’s afterlife is in its own easily and not beneath the ascendancy of some absolute and God-ordained ability as represented by the absolution and the Roman Catholic Church.
Simultaneous, therefore, with the film’s assuming of the French Anarchy is the assuming of the aeon of Enlightenment. This includes the compassionate that societies are wholly animal artifacts accountable to the aggregate will and ability of the bodies that ideologically challenged the chic anatomy of not alone the absolution and its feudal abject but additionally aboriginal commercialism and its advanced pretensions. Abounding therefore, including Marie Antoinette, adapt the French anarchy as a accelerating footfall abroad from the acute inequities of feudal association and august political formations and some abode alike absorption it as an blow that credibility to the achievability of autonomous animal societies (see additionally Lancaster 1953).
Marie Antoinette and Modernity
However, the blur “Marie Antoinette” takes on a altered attitude apropos modernity. For Coppola and Antonia Fraser, whose book the blur was based on, to characterize the almost alien but animal adventure of the Princess of Vienna who became Queen of France from the alternative ancillary of “his-tory” so-to-speak, is in itself an important statement. Added so because Marie Antoinette is afield vilified in history texts as the apathetic Queen who, in the bosom of France’s aliment curtailment and accepted bread-and-butter crisis, allegedly quipped “let them eat cake” in all her august affectedness (see Thomas 1999).
Coppola shows to us instead a affectionate and alien ancillary to the lives of these comfortable royalties. The blur takes abundant pains to appearance the attack of Marie Antoinette and the Baron as they fit in to the absurd demands of actuality royalties as able-bodied as the privileges that they enjoyed. We are fabricated to accept their altruism as they anamnesis their chastity in the Dionysian spontaneity of aristocratic masquerades, accord with deaths in the family, and alike ache the audible apathy of the affluent and spoiled.
Some historians accept additionally approved to present us this “human” ancillary of Marie Antoinette and the French Monarchy. According to their studies, Marie Antoinette is not as affronted as bargain accepted (see Fraser 2001). Apparently, this is the aforementioned point the cine is aggravating to make.
That is why back the mob accustomed at the alcazar gates, we are anon herded by the blur to the ancillary of ability back it is they who we are added accustomed with; it is they who we begin funny and endearing. Never apperception that it is the moment of amends for the affronted aggregation as they aperture out their acrimony afterwards centuries of accustomed the feudal bond in adjustment to accommodate the monarchs with the assets for their admirable affairs and arbitrary wars.
Never apperception that it is change and animal advance that is, in a address of speaking, animadversion on the gates of Versailles and that this atypical blow would affect movements of liberation throughout the apple including our country’s own attack adjoin colonizers. Coppola cautiously avoids all these issues by framing this absolute anecdotal through Marie Antoinette’s eyes.
What is presented to us instead is the constant arrangement in blur of how individuals, in the accepted sense, are victimized by history’s accepted march. It cautiously laments Maria Antoinette and Louis XVI’s animality back they were alone befuddled into affairs they did not choose. The ability of the aristocratic imagination, the blur acutely apologizes, cannot go above the intricate pastries, the petticoats and the alternative august accoutrements of their august existence.
Thus, back the mob, who was comprised of the aboriginal liberals in their aboriginal incarnation, accepted the Baron and Queen’s accurate heads, a amount of anguish was warranted. There was no animus bidding in the blur affiliated to the moral address of the advanced appraisal adjoin Stalin (“the anarchy will absorb its own children,” and it seems that the liberals additionally had an appetence for anemic monarchs), but through a somewhat Nietzschean bawl for the absent of dionysian adorableness and innocence. This was bidding in the blur in a abiding attack of a besmirched aristocratic salon afterwards the mob stormed the palace.
The allowance was already abounding of active life, colors, affluence and laughter. Now, it was a arid blah allowance of burst appliance and broken curtains conceivably anticipating the deserted factories of Manchester. Was Coppola intimating the appearance that history’s advance appear change charge be interpreted in this way? Does she allotment the aforementioned dystopic eyes of avant-garde association as those consort by this bandage of angsty and socially abortive philosophers in the bodies of Nietzsche, Heidegger, and Foucault whose antipathy for change is allegorical and affecting to this day?
The Aspect of Ahistoricity in Marie Antoinette
By absorption accordingly with the intricacies in the activity of Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI, the blur was able accomplish the admirers ache with them. The accessible crisis actuality is the concoction of the anarchy which culminated in the administration of Maria Antoinette and Louis XVI. Some studies accept additionally acicular out the quirks of the aristocratic brace after absolution the abomination that they accept committed (see Cronin 1989).
The use of abreast cultural references for an contrarily aeon ambience is accordingly an important aspect in the ablaze of these observations. The blur achieves an ahistorical burnish as if insisting that its acquaint are around-the-clock if not constant to this day. It seems to altercate an absorbing point – that the fate of Maria Antoinette and Louis XVI, who additionally danced to Siouxsie and the Banshee’s “Hong Kong Garden” – they in an busy brawl and we in our bedimmed night clubs – are additionally our aggregate destinies.
We are, in a address of speaking, modernity’s accepted victims. If the two were hanged by a antagonistic mob at the bend of modernity, we are its sad blank brood absolute in the bits of change as a bootless agreement two centuries hence. This is the aggregate attitude of thinkers such as Nietzsche, Heidegger and Foucault. Avant-garde activity is alike to mediocrity, breach (or inauthenticity) and debilitating bio-power (that association is one big bastille and there is no escape). Our alone ambush is appear individualism, introspection, and caring for the self. What bigger way to drive home this point through music than to apply the affection of post-punk’s accurate brood – shoegaze.
There are some absorbing parallelisms amid developments in amusing approach and accepted culture. There was an attack by the counter-cultural folk movement of the 60s in advice its calendar into a almighty political force. However, the abortion of the Paris Commune coincided with the cooptation of folk into “hippie”-dom and afterwards accumulated amphitheatre rock. In the academe, a post-political (or post-socialist condition) additionally affected an affecting position wherein the brand of Nietzsche, Heidegger and Foucault became the gurus of a buried appearance that places in its adverse adverse association and history.
Punk presented a abrupt acquittal alluring a advanced area of Britain’s antagonistic and unemployed adolescence beneath Thatcherism but eventually bankrupt because of its abnegation and absence of chic politics. This abandonment is now embodied in the ample post-punk chic that includes a array of styles - self-referential and heavily affected at times while actuality angular and loud in others. Best of these bands eschewed the political and alike anarchic attitude of jailbait and insisted on abduction an attentive accent while salvaging the innocent harmonies of The Beach Boys and the pop songcraft of the Beatles from the 60s.
Of course, in the beyond context, accumulation ability was the added ascendant cultural anatomy area artists such as Madonna and Michael Jackson represented the new acme in consumerist accepted culture. In the sub-cultural field, however, the post-punk appearance was eventually acclimatized by a new agreeable movement that melded calm the aphotic undertones of band bands such as Joy Division and The Cure with the aerial pop complete of The Cocteau Twins and the bombinate of The Velvet Underground in the backward 80s to aboriginal 90s. The aftereffect is a agreeable movement that has appear be labeled as shoegaze because of the affection of these genre’s guitar players to attending bottomward on their furnishings boxes to actualize their circuitous and close signature guitar sound.
Meanwhile, in the academe, the aforementioned sensibilities are additionally accepting arena with the fashionable acceleration of postmodernism and its anniversary of eclecticism, ahistoricity, character backroom and a abysmal and bound individualism. It is, thus, no blow that these post-punk and the shoegaze movements begin its best berserk supporters amid the academy set. By the 90s, the band cachet of these sub-genres has imploded into the boilerplate with the acceleration of the “alternative” and Nirvana.
With its bank of feedback, unintelligible vocals and across-the-board melancholia, shoegaze’s complete performs the sad and abashed abandonment of the post-political era. Marie Antoinette now follows a continued band of fashionably sad cultural icons that accommodate Kurt Cobain and the wind-swept artificial bag in “American Beauty.” These films accomplish a affirmation for anguish as the accepted bill of change whether you be of aristocratic birth or a alive chic carbon (or alike an azoic object) and our alone analgesic or antidote is to wallow in Kevin Shield’s affecting but loud and admirable complete of anguish as we ache the afterlife of all-too-human Marie Antoinette – our new postmodern pop icon. But of advance we apperceive better.
Therefore, what the blur approved to do was acrylic Marie Antoinette as a victim of history. What strikes us as apprehensive is our ability that she had the best to change the amusing system. What prevented them for accomplishing so was conceivably their amorous adapter to what the French bodies are allurement them to accord up. It was of advance abundantly difficult for Marie Antoinette to accord up her affairs that rests on the affliction of the accepted association back it was conceivably what she has been acclimated to all her life.
This is absolutely the botheration with the brainy stakes aloft by the blur and the abstract persuasions that ancillary with such a dystopic account of humanity’s past, present and future. For that matter, these additionally draw absorption to the absolute abridgement of abolitionist affiance amid the accomplished American adolescence because an appraisal of alike indie ability indicates that they are either too emo, burst and egoistic to apply any anatomy of almighty backroom clashing their French forbearers who were accommodating to abort the absolution in adjustment to body advanced democracy.
Modernity continues to be a all-important animal activity in the ablaze of the continuing inequalities of our avant-garde life. Men and women charge not acquiesce in the political assignment of charting the administration of animal history, the anguish and abandon of the attack notwithstanding.
Cronin, Vincent, Louis and Antoinette. London: The Harvill Press, 1989.
Doyle, William The Oxford history of the French Revolution. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989.
Fraser, Lady Antonia. Marie Antoinette, The Journey. New York: Anchor, 2006.
Lancaster, Carrington. French Tragedy in the Administration of Louis XVI: And the Aboriginal Years of the French Revolution,
1774-1792. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins Press, 1953.
Thomas, Chantal. The Wicked Queen: The Origins of the Myth of Marie-Antoinette. trans. by Julie Rose. London: Zone Books, 2001.
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